"Others have run for Governor who are nincompoops. Oh, you must be talking about our current Governor. And yes, that is correct."
Too harsh? Sorry. But this is politics you know. Rebecca Otto recently announced she is going to run for Governor. That brought a smirk to my face. I really could not think of a person more unqualified to fill that most important position. Before I continue, let me first evaluate her background. One term (2 years) as a state representative and two 4 years terms as the State Auditor. And some might ask, "What the heck does the State Auditor really do, anyhow?" The answer - not much.
Okay Bird (some might say), so what? Others have run for Governor who are nincompoops. Oh, you must be talking about our current Governor. And yes, that is correct. However, Ms. Otto has done something in her young and meaningless career that tops the others so far. She knows how to whine and waste valuable taxpayer dollars.
For those who cannot remember, I will help refresh. In her second term as State Auditor, some of the counties in Minnesota decided to hire outside auditors. Rebecca Otto, when she found out about this, had a hissy fit. Then she did what all good Democrats do - she decided to use the court system to stop these counties from proceeding.
Here is where it really gets silly. In 2015, a bill was passed onto the Governor with a whole bunch of stuff in it. You know - an end of session omnibus bill. In that bill was a proviso that allowed counties to use private auditors should they decide to. Yes, and it turns out many wanted to. So our Governor (a former State Auditor) in his usual foggy state, signed this bill into law. In 2016, three counties, Becker, Wright and Ramsey decided to hire outside auditors. Plus, an additional 47 counties refused to sign an agreement with the State Auditor to use their services.
A normal person might now ask two questions: 1) What chances would a lawsuit have when the ability to hire outside auditors was recently signed into law? and 2) The services provided by the State Auditor must be pretty bad (and expensive) to cause 50 counties not to want to contract with the State Auditor.
In any event, the lawsuit went forward and was thrown out. However by this time, her office had amassed $250,000 worth of legal fees. Did that come out of Ms Otto's pocket? Nope. It came out of yours and mine.
Here is a postscript to this sad story. Governor Dayton sided with Rebecca Otto in her lawsuit. Yes, the man who signed this provision into law which allowed counties to get their own auditors, sided with Otto. Why? He said he was "unaware" of what was in that bill. There you go. Case in point on why we should NEVER use omnibus bills again. Nobody ever truly knows what is in them until long after they are signed into law.
Before it is said and done, there will be many who throw their hat in the ring to be our next Governor. Some will be highly qualified, some moderately qualified, and some totally unqualified. Ms. Otto falls in the last category.